Empire star Taraji P Henson reprising role for spin-off series
Empire star Taraji P Henson is reprising her role as Cookie Lyon for a new spin-off series.
According to Variety, the actress has signed a two-year deal for the show, which will centre on her character.
Empire, which was forced to cut its sixth season short due to the coronavirus pandemic, tells the story of Empire Entertainment, a hip hop label founded by the Lyon family.
The family members were played by Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y Gray, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers and Henson.
Related: Empire co-creator opens up about "pain and anger" following Jussie Smollett scandal
The original plan for Empire was to end on episode 20 of season six, but the cast were unable to complete the series when the pandemic forced production to shut down.
Instead, the 18th episode ended up serving as the series finale, with the conclusion to show having already been changed due to the abrupt exit of Jussie Smollett after being accused of filing a false police report.
However, this new proposed spin-off will now give Henson the chance to shine again as Cookie.
The actress's production company TPH Entertainment will be producing the series, with Henson saying in a statement: "I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace.
"Art can change perception and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation. I also aim to help cultivate and establish new young talent and their stories because they are our future and deserve a voice and a platform to be heard."
Carolyn Cassidy, President of 20th Century Fox Television, added: "Art can change perception, and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation.
"With Empire finished, we look forward to helping [Henson] explore stories that need to be told through her talent and advocacy."
Empire aired on Fox in the US.
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